Adyashanti - on being "stuck" in "emptiness".

Ahimsananda's picture



Average: 4.1 (18 votes)
Guru Adyashanti-photo.jpg

I came upon this quote from Adyashanti on this site. It is so similar to my teaching and some of my recent posts, that I wanted to include it here:

"Many spiritual seekers get "stuck" in emptiness, in the absolute, in transcendence. They cling to bliss, or peace, or indifference. When the self-centered motivation for living disappears, many seekers become indifferent. They see the perfection of all existence and find no reason for doing anything, including caring for themselves or others. I call this "taking a false refuge." It is a very subtle egoic trap; it's a fixation in the absolute and all unconscious form of attachment that masquerades as liberation. It can be very difficult to wake someone up from this deceptive fixation because they literally have no motivation to let go of it. Stuck in a form of divine indifference, such people believe they have reached the top of the mountain when actually they are hiding out halfway up its slope. Enlightenment does not mean one should disappear into the realm of transcendence. To be fixated in the absolute is simply the polar opposite of being fixated in the relative. With the dawning of true enlightenment, there is a tremendous birthing of impersonal Love and wisdom that never fixates in any realm of experience. To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality. If emptiness cannot dance, it is not true Emptiness. If moonlight does not flood the empty night sky and reflect in every drop of water, on every blade of grass, then you are only looking at your own empty dream. I say, Wake up! Then, your heart will be flooded with a Love that you cannot contain."

-Adyashanti



B-friend's picture

Voila

Spoken like someone who is full of conceptual understanding and fear of their deep rooted IDEA of "emptiness".

But, for those who are lost in "concept land" and who are transformed by sudden realizations and understandings in mind and confuse it for Realization, maybe he's useful for them.

I've watched many videos of his and read up on him and he's very intelligent and says some very nice things, like the above, but come on. Why tie yourself to a blind man?

The subtleties in the differences between neo advaita and advaita are becoming more glaring and I can understand why so many are agitated by the errors in the neo stuff. Just regurgitate what you've read in books in a way that sounds authentic and original, meek and charming...and Wa La.. you're an advaita teacher.

It's the "fear of emptiness" thing with these guys isn't it?? They exploit this fear in others to feed them a more tasty hope and idea of "enlightenment" in an attempt to hide in that space too by being the example of "it's not really emptiness and nothingness" that they seek. All the while, they are still only unconsciously lost in fear. If anything is empty, it has to be that.

B-friend | Sun, 07/18/2010 - 07:53
Ahimsananda's picture

Don't let fear of the unknown keep you in "emptiness".

"Just regurgitate what you've read in books in a way that sounds authentic and original, meek and charming...and Wa La.. you're an advaita teacher."

Of the 14 blogs you have written here, 11 are little more than quotations from others. In order to "regurgitate", one must at least partially digest the material in the first place, not just present it "raw".

Adayshanti studied Zen Buddhism since his teens. His teachers suggested he teach. He is not an "instant" guru.

Your idea of Neo-Advaita is a mistaken one. Neo-Advaita ignores "relative" reality in favor of "absolute" reality.
Adyashanti is speaking to this very thing. Awareness not only exposes the Absolute, it "illumes" the relative, making it "transparent", so the Absolute shines through.

Getting caught in the "I AM", and dwelling there is the mistake Adyashanti is speaking of. If one has the "earnestness" that Nisargadatta speaks of, one will not stop at the "I AM", but move beyond consciousness.

One of the quotations from Nisargadatta Maharaj, you use in one of your own blogs, states:

"When pure awareness is attained, no need exists any more, not even for ‘I am’, which is but a useful pointer, a direction-indicator towards the Absolute. The awareness ‘I am’ then easily ceases. What prevails is that which cannot be described, that which is beyond words. It is this ‘state’ which is most real, a state of pure potentiality, which is prior to everything. The ‘I am’ and the universe are mere reflections of it. It is this reality which a jnani has realized".

"Pure Potentiality" sure does not sound like "emptiness".

" It's the "fear of emptiness" thing with these guys isn't it?? They exploit this fear in others to feed them a more tasty hope and idea of "enlightenment" in an attempt to hide in that space too by being the example of "it's not really emptiness and nothingness" that they seek. All the while, they are still only unconsciously lost in fear. If anything is empty, it has to be that."

There is no fear of "emptiness" here, or with Adyashanti.
Anyone who has diligently practiced meditation or contemplation, knows this "emptiness". They also do not fear the unknown, which is next.

To look at this "mind's idea" of "emptiness", as an "awakening" is a desire to hide, and comforts the ego that "something" has been "achieved".

When real "unexpected" "emptiness" actually arises, it is instantly filled with Awareness and compassion, so the "emptiness" is unnoticed. To dwell in this is freedom, to dwell in the mind's version of "emptiness" is an egoic trap.

The use of phrases like "Just regurgitate what you've read in books" or "Why tie yourself to a blind man?" only reveal an arrogant attitude and a lack of compassion that will not lead you to Awareness and compassion which is experienced in the "heart".

You seek "emptiness", but you fear the "unknown". The mind gives you an "idea" of "emptiness". But you need trust, which is Love only, to step into the "unknown".

Let go of your idea of "emptiness". For when you become really "empty", the "void" is instantly filled with Awareness and compassion.

You can only experience this, and that takes courage and trust.

Ahimsananda | Sun, 07/18/2010 - 19:14
witnessing_presence's picture

I completely agree with

I completely agree with every word you have said here...

Thank you for posting this

"stuck in emptiness" it is absurd.. our real nature is emptiness...

Adyashanti is not the real thing....

I know he studied with Zen masters since his teens, but that does not mean he is actually enlightened. Just neo-advaita babble

witnessing_presence | Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:48
lalo's picture

Absurd to the intellectual mind

I advise you both to practice modesty before decreeing if this or that is the real thing. You try to understand what this Adyashanti says from your mind in terms of a theoretical absolute perspective while he speaks in terms of relative perspective in which we cognize (the most popular error of... neo advaitans) - what he speaks about - being stuck in emptiness - was said by many teachers and is indeed a great problematic phase of many on the path (e.g. it is part of John of the Cross's "The dark night of the soul")- it is the reaching to the experiencing of emptiness (not just the intellectual understanding) but sensing this empty nature of everything still from the perspective of the mind.

When you experience this first-hand you will understand precisely what this Adyashanti and other teachers talk about.

lalo | Tue, 05/03/2011 - 14:18
Clara's picture

It is sad to hear someone

It is sad to hear someone who does not experience the enlightenment of the teacher disparage that gift: the great love, the holding of every single thing in the universe in the wholeness. Adyashanti is the light. It doesn't matter how you categorize him. He doesn't fit any category. Thousands of people have experienced that gift. Once you have experienced it, you know; regardless of someone's critical, analytical dismissal. I'm sorry you don't get the gift he so purely and generously gives. Hopefully you will get it somewhere.

Clara | Thu, 01/12/2012 - 05:25
zoya's picture

I disagree. I think it is

I disagree. I think it is everything but sad that a seeker realizes that some teacher is not what is assumed to be, especially enlightened, that a seeker is not confusing charisma, eloquence and self confidence with enlightenment.

Adyashanti is what is called mind-enlightened, reduced enlightenment to some analytic concept, a terrible mistake of neo advaitans. He is smart, he is cute but I don't think that he comes close to teachers like Nisargadatta Maharaj and the other pure Advaita enlightened ones that radiate a totally different quality of presence.

zoya | Thu, 01/12/2012 - 09:42
Mohan Singh's picture

True Transcendence

When you have transcended the relative reality and come back into where you started from you do not come back with anything negative like indifference.

Mohan Singh | Sun, 05/01/2011 - 10:14
zoya's picture

Indifference is not negative

Indifference is not negative at all in the spiritual sense. We were conditioned to feel so based on caltural norms.

When you go out from the cinema after watching a feature film, realizing that it is just a fiction, aren't you indifferent to what was happening in the fiction film? If you were seeing another person going out from the same fiction film crying and tearing his cloths not being able to realize that what was happening in the film was not real then I am sure you would have said of course that his non indifference is negative. That is exactly the case when you return back to the relative reality realm...

zoya | Thu, 01/12/2012 - 09:46